Ruby turns one on Saturday. All I can think is that this year has flown by so quickly. Many thoughts are swirling around my head, so best to share them...

- I am still amazed at my capacity to love a person. I thought I got that concept when Reuben and I hit it off and got married. I also thought that I for sure got it over the last few years as he and I developed our married life together. But let me just say now, for the record, I had no clue. Ruby brings with her a deeper level of love than I ever knew possible. 

- Ruby has been so good for me as an individual. I find myself being a kinder, gentler, more patient person now. Granted, I'm a tad more emotional now and I don't always enjoy that side but hopefully it's good for me. I never really planned to have kids. It just wasn't something I was certain was right for me. But now that I do, I know that it was meant to be. 

- Watching her grow and develop a personality has been amazing. This is like having a sociology experiment happen every day in our lives. Things we get to witness: her personality developing - especially how it modifies already specific to her interactions with certain people, how she's learning cause & effect (albeit slowly), her endless curiosity, her ability already to try and manipulate (can we talk about bedtime here?), true innocence, unbridled enthusiasm and excitement... The list goes on. There's so much about her to watch and learn. 

- I love her daddy. Of course anyone that knows Reuben figured that we had a 90% chance of him being a great dad. We were right. He's 110% fantastic. Reuben is all about being engaged with Ruby. He reads to her, knows how to play and help her develop imagination, he practices flash cards with her because he read about how that can really help develop her reading/comprehension skills early on. If she's upset about something, he's quick to try and help her find a solution to get her back to happy. And if he can't fix it, I get double-sad because they both get sad. It's just flat out amazing to see how much she means to him. They are two peas in a pod (and yes, I'm already a bit jealous of the "fun parent" that he has chosen to be.) I love him now more than ever.

- I love how our family and friends love Ruby. I can't call out everyone because I'll miss mentioning somebody out there and hurt feelings. But... I do have to say that my mom is precious with Ruby. This woman is desperately in love with her grandchild. She's like that with all her grandkids as I've witnessed over the years, but now seeing her love for a child of mine is pretty cool. The little kids in Ruby's life adore her. Taylor and Piper are close to obsessed, Sophie talks about "the baby Ruby" quite a bit and hovers around her when she's in town, and Riley drew a picture at daycare that she identified as containing "Riley, mommy (hers) and Ruby," how sweet is that? All that just to say that Ruby and I are blessed to have so much love directed her way by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, etc.

- One year in and I must confess though, I'm still scared. I was scared before I had her and every day since then. I worry that I'll be a good enough parent, that she'll not come to any harm, that the innocence I see in her face will last a good & long time, that she'll be happy, health and strong. Watching the news never used to faze me, and now it feels me with dread. Being a parent has made me feel so vulnerable in this world and so I think about safety quite a bit as far as Ruby's concerned. Keeping that fear at a healthy level is really a challenge. And feeling this sense of protectiveness for another individual is really quite amazing.

My hopes and dreams? I want Ruby to have a wonderfully happy life. If I can spare her the years of insecurity I've experienced, I will. I'm sure it's every parent's goal, but protecting her emotional well-being is so important to me. Reuben and I will do whatever it takes to ensure that she feels great about herself. He's such a confident person that I think she's already ahead of the game. 

I want Ruby to have opportunities to try new things, new experiences, new places. This way when she's older she'll hopefully still feel adventurous yet solid-footed. I want her to always have a strong sense of family. Reuben has this and I sometimes had it. My mom, brother and I have always been super-close, but I sometimes felt like an outsider with the rest of my family for various reasons. I hope Ruby never feels that way. I know that instilling a strong sense of family in her is our responsibility as parents, and so we take that very seriously.

I'll confess, I wanted a daughter. I would have been happy for a boy, but from a time even before I was pregnant, I knew - I wanted a daughter. (No offense, boys are precious and sweet too.) And so I feel so very fulfilled by this little girl. I am grateful to her and to God for this life. 

Ruby is such a happy child. Always has been. I love watching her outer beauty continue to develop too. Red hair, blue eyes - boy are we in trouble. Ruby has a little sparkle in her eye that already shows her mischievous side which is good for me. Her daddy has the same telling looking in his eyes when he's up to no good. She also has such a serious and contemplative side to her personality. It's hard not to watch her all day long.

So some days I'm tired as all new moms are. Some days I think I'm not getting everything done at work and at home. Some days I beat myself up for this. And then every once in a while I either remind myself, or have my wonderful husband remind me, that it's okay. So the house isn't as orderly as I want, my daughter is happy. And really, what else matters?

Enough rambling I suppose. Just needed to share my love for this little girl and this last year with her. She's pretty amazing and I am truly blessed.

« Back